Frankie O's Blog: Bowled Over?

Frankie O's Blog: Bowled Over?

Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011
2:23 p.m.

By Frankie O
CSNChicago.com

Is it possible to have too much of a good thing?

Unfortunately in college football were finding out. Thats because thanks to our friends at the Bowl Subdivision, there are now 35 of them. Remember when it was easy to figure out the levels of college football? Division I, Division IA, Division II and Division III? Well the powers to be couldnt leave that alone. So we still have Divisions II and III, but as we move up the food chain, there is the Championship Subdivision and the Bowl Subdivision. And just so we dont get confused, they're making sure there are enough bowls.

In fact, if I was marketing them, I have the perfect slogan: The NCAA: We put the bowls in the Bowl Subdivision! I guess they figure with so many bowls well remember the name. NOT! Everyone still calls it Division I, but I digress. The point is that there are so many that theyve killed the buzz. Way back when, while the thought of inebriating adults for a living was only a gleam in the eye, I remember the 4 bowls that we all watched and the ability to get to one of these games really meant something: The Rose, Sugar, Orange and Cotton. These games were special and had historical significance if not National Title implications and any fan knew the teams playing in each game. Now? Now we have teams competing for the right to throw down in the Beef O Bradys Bowl. What?

My question is, when you have 120 teams, do 70 deserve to go to a bowl? (And we think too many teams get in to the NHL playoffs?) Again, we have the B.C.S. to thank for this. Since creating their 5 bowl country club for the good old boys, they decided to spin it to the rest of their membership by letting the little sisters of the poor have their moment of glory in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Keep your hands out of my pie!

As long as everyone can wet their beak, there wont be any support for that darn playoff that every fan in the country is crying for, because, as you know, a national title playoff would erode the sanctity of the bowl system. I want my Chick-fil-A Bowl! So as I spent another bowl season in a bar where at least a third of the games did not even get watched, and another third were only watched by alumni and gamblers, Im thinking: This is good for business? Not theirs, mine! As someone that can watch almost any football game, it even gets to be too much for me. And as someone who wants to entice customers to stay by putting something on the TV that is compelling and fun to watch, I end up putting on NBA games instead. Regular season NBA games! Games that dont include the Bulls!

So the system has to change, right? Wrong! As long as the big conferences are making their money, and GUARANTEEING that one of THEM will win the title by excluding, at all costs, (is that ironic?) smaller schools from having a chance (T.C.U.Boise State) the system will not change. As their proof that the system works, they will point out that the 1 team beat the 2 team in a National Title Game that was the most watched cable program EVER. As someone whos been numbed by the glut of bowls, I say that only proves that we love college football and want to find out who the champ will be. It would be nice though, if we could equally enjoy the path to get there. Think about that while enjoying your BBVA Compass Bowl!

Is it time for the White Sox to call up Reynaldo Lopez?

lopez-721.jpg
USA TODAY

Is it time for the White Sox to call up Reynaldo Lopez?

With Yoan Moncada now with the White Sox and making an early impact, White Sox fans may be wondering which highly-touted prospect is next to join the big league roster.

Reynaldo Lopez is certainly making a strong case for himself in Triple-A Charlotte. Lopez, one of the pitchers the Sox received from the Washington Nationals in the Adam Eaton trade, gave up one run in six innings for the Knights on Friday night. That was the latest in a string of five strong starts for the 23-year-old.

In Friday's 2-1 loss against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders, Lopez struck out six and allowed just two hits and one walk. That's five straight starts for Lopez in which he has allowed two or fewer runs while pitching six or more innings.

Here's his last five starts:

June 29 vs. Columbus: 6 2/3 innings, 1 run, 11 strikeouts, 1 walk, 6 hits

July 4 at Durham: 6 innings, 1 run, 6 strikeouts, 1 walk, 5 hits

July 9 at Louisville: 6 innings, 2 runs, 4 strikeouts, 1 walk, 7 hits

July 16 vs. Gwinnett: 7 innings, 1 run, 12 strikeouts, 2 walks, 2 hist

Tonight at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre: 6 innings, 1 run, 6 strikeouts, 1 walk, 2 hits

Loepz has a 3.65 ERA on the season with 107 strikeouts in 106 innings against 40 walks and 90 hits. In a short stint in the majors last season, Lopez had a 4.91 ERA in 44 innings in six starts and five relief appearances for the Nationals.

Does Guaranteed Rate Field await the Dominican right-hander?

White Sox minor league trade could signal more big league moves to come

White Sox minor league trade could signal more big league moves to come

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- What may appear at face value to be a deal for pitching depth could be a precursor of more White Sox trades to come.

The White Sox acquired Triple-A relief pitchers Mark Lowe and Jean Machi from the Tacoma Rainiers (Seattle Mariners) on Friday night. While the move merely could be to add bullpen arms to a system short on them after trades and injuries have depleted their depth, the White Sox could also be preparing themselves for the next wave of moves. David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle may be gone.

But the White Sox still possess a strong rental reliever in veteran Anthony Swarzak and left-hander Dan Jennings could also draw interest even though his 4.05 ERA is the highest he’d had since coming to the White Sox.

“We are still open for business,” general manager Rick Hahn said on Tuesday night. “We’re starting to get a little younger in that clubhouse. A few guys are starting to get opportunities over the next few weeks and months. It will be interesting to see. If we don’t do anything over the next couple weeks we’ll have a better assessment of where we are heading into the off-season, perhaps set some things up for them.”

A free agent in the offseason, Swarzak has a 2.45 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 44 innings this season. Jennings has a career 2.94 ERA in 278 games.

Lowe has spent the entire season at Tacoma. He has a 4.22 ERA in 382 career games in the majors. Machi has a 3.38 ERA in 194 games in the bigs and has pitched for San Francisco, Boston and Seattle. He had a 3.44 ERA in 29 games at Tacoma.

The White Sox intend to have Tyler Clippard work as their closer after the departures of Robertson and Kahnle, manager Rick Renteria said.

Hahn has already been extremely busy this month, making a pair of deals that netted seven prospects and Clippard. He dealt Jose Quintana to the Cubs on July 13 for four prospects and traded Robertson, Kahnle and Todd Frazier to the Yankees on Tuesday.